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NASA’s Space Launch System rolls out to the launch pad ahead of the Artemis I mission scheduled for August 29
Artemis was the twin sister of Apollo and goddess of the moon in Greek mythology.
NASA has chosen her to personify the path back to the moon, which will see astronauts return to the lunar surface by 2025 — including the first woman and the next man.
Artemis 1, formerly Exploration Mission-1, is the first in a series of increasingly complex missions that will enable human exploration to the Moon and Mars.
Artemis 1 will be the first integrated flight test of NASA’s deep space exploration system: the Orion spacecraft, the Space Launch System (SLS) rocket and the ground systems at the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida.
Artemis 1 will be an unmanned flight that will provide a foundation for human exploration of deep space and demonstrate our commitment and capacity to extend human existence to the moon and beyond.
During this flight, the spacecraft will launch on the most powerful rocket in the world and fly farther than any spacecraft built for humans has ever flown.
It will travel 280,000 miles (450,600 km) from Earth, thousands of miles beyond the moon over the course of a mission of about three weeks.
Artemis 1, formerly Exploration Mission-1, is the first in a series of increasingly complex missions that will enable human exploration to the Moon and Mars. This image explains the different stages of the mission
Orion will stay in space longer than any other astronaut ship has done without docking in a space station and returning home faster and hotter than ever before.
With this first exploration mission, NASA is leading the next steps of human exploration into deep space, where astronauts will build and test the near-moon systems needed for lunar surface missions and exploration to other destinations further from Earth, including Mars.
They take the crew on a different trajectory and test Orion’s critical systems with people on board.
Together, Orion, SLS and the ground systems at Kennedy will be able to meet the most challenging needs of crew and cargo missions in deep space.
Ultimately, NASA aims to establish a sustainable human presence on the moon by 2028 as a result of the Artemis mission.
The space agency hopes this colony will discover new scientific discoveries, demonstrate new technological advances and lay the foundation for private companies to build a lunar economy.